Monday, October 2, 2017

Short Story: Taco Hell and the Best Rats!

Work seemed like any normal shift. A sense of slight depression in the air as it's been raining since I can't remember when. Starting the night off to myself, I decide to make my way to Taco Hell, I mean, Bell. A cheap dinner with a heavy price to pay later!

Embracing the Homestead, Florida traffic with a heightened sense of awareness for wackos and especially since the Las Vegas shooting just happened, I make my way down US1. It appeared to be blocked due to some crazy cop chase with 20 flashing blue lights everywhere. I finally grab my bean burrito and head back to my trailer trash community. Temporarily home.

Along the way, I found a great hotel if anyone's looking. They've got the best rats! Read for yourself!


Went to reach for my keys and realized, I BLEEPED up.. again. For like the 11th time! My keys were locked inside the trailer and my spares were in a closed rv park office. It's pouring at this point. The poor office lady had to leave her home and rescue me. Turns out, she accidentally left my keys at her home. At least I wasn't having the day to myself in this experience.

By the way, this is what it looked like the last time I didn't have keys to get in my trailer..



I finally get in and hear a knock. The dudes next door asked if I wanted to join them for hot dogs and potatoes. I couldn't turn down food so, with a big smile on my face, I said yes. The night was ended with a bug in my throat and once again, more rain. 

Needless to say, I hope tomorrow is a little more dry for my adventures.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

First Time Aquaponics Attempt

The short: “Fish are friends, not food.” – Finding Nemo
The long: I will be updating this post as time continues. UPDATE 11-19-2017.

The Setup:
Fish tank kit
Walmart
$29.00
Pool Noodle
Walmart
$0.98
Plants
Peas
Varies
Fish Food/Tank supplies
Pet Supermarket
$10.00


~$40.00

 I suck at making awesome elaborate posts, so here it goes.

Usually, you want to start your tank running a full 24 hours before adding fish. This allows healthy bacteria and harmful chemicals to even out before throwing fish in to their new environment. I already started growing peas in a tray outside when I decided to take on this project. With this in mind, I grabbed a pool noodle to help the plants float in the tank. Impatient, I may have just thrown them and my new fish together right away (although you absolutely must let the fish get acclimated to the water temperature and chemicals first before just dumping them straight in).  – If you’ve never seen fish get shocked before, YouTube it.

Before purchasing a pool noodle from Walmart, I found black foam on the ground after the hurricane to experiment with. I really try to upcycle as best I can, but again, I’m not perfect at that either. Hence why my slogan is “Heather tries at life.”

After the filter ran for a couple hours, the fish were ready to go!

Day 1 – The plants started looking a little sad at the end of the day. It is possible that they weren’t receiving enough nutrients. One theory, is that I completely stripped those nutrients after removing soil and dumped the plants in the aquarium filled with pool noodles and fish.

Day 2 – With help of the LED lighting and constant water circulation, it appears oxygen was capable of getting to the roots, giving them a boost. I nearly killed half of the sprouts plucked on the day of putting this aquaponic system together because I let the sprouts dry out a little too much. The biggest advice I can say while setting your system up is to NEVER let the roots dry out. You’ll be looking at a dead limp plant.

Day 3 – I can’t have nice things. My plants looked healthy and seemed to be bushy with a lush green. That was, until I dropped the lid on them. All became crooked and the original black foam I was using for some of the sprouts became too water logged. However, I saved them off to the side for a smaller starter system. Yay recycling.

Day 4 – Plants look like they’re still lacking nutrients. Fish were fed a little extra. I did not know goldfish will continue to consume and forget they have consumed. I almost learned the hard way, goldfish will eat until they die.

By the way, I chose goldfish because they were $80.00 cheaper than five Koi. Koi are VERY expensive. Also, shiners for bait fish, require a little more effort than I was willing to give. Just something to think about when you’re trying to save the Earth on a budget.

Day 7? – I kind of lost track already. There’s a lot of energy put in to rotating around the sun. I’m just saying.

Day 8 – I’ll continue here. I think. My pea plants look like they’re very skinny instead of bushy. I compared them to the plants growing outside, but maybe it’s because with my aquaponic system, they might be able to grow taller.

I don’t know why I never attempted this sooner. Fish are so relaxing to look at. Especially when your world is consumed with stress, like fighting people at Wal-Mart and pissing off the turtle haters while saving creatures from humanity.

Below are some pictures, not in any order of what the progress has been. Still messing with the format. What bloggers don't say, is how long it takes to actually format and post their material. One man band over here! Anyways, enjoy!



















More updates and photos to follow!

Update 11-19-2017*
I'm sad to report, my aquaponic system did not make it. While it was a fun attempt there were multiple reasons my plants withered away. I'm pretty sure my experiment lasted a grand total of 20 days.

Let's cut straight to the point.
Lighting - I left my light on for more than 12 hours a day. Some leaves would turn to a crisp after being dried out for so long. The light was small so only a small concentrated area would receive enough UVs. To combat all of this, I would recommend obtaining a timer for scheduled lighting. 
Nutrients - I chose goldfish because they were supposed to be a very messy fish. Well, messy in fact they are. They would even eat their on faeces. The tank would essentially be spotless from the amount they consumed, leading to my next problem.
The Fish - They literally eat anything and everything! I believe because they wouldn't stop, they murdered the plants even quicker because their root system was getting destroyed.

Needless to say, it was an interesting experience and plan on doing a second round soon. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Phone Fiasco: An Unplanned S7 Review and Note 4 Disappointment.

The Short: Scroll to the bottom
The Long: Start here or go to the next article...

The future of the infinity screen *inserts sarcasm*



My dying phone was the best accident I've had.

For months, I assumed I had a bad battery in my Note 4. It would randomly die at 12% sometimes as high as 33%. I finally had enough when my phone would get me lost in the ghetto and turn off at the most inopportune moments, like the time I was trying to record a slug eating a banana. That's really important footage, also, don't tell me how to live my life!

Four hours later and three different stores helped determine the cause. Don't ask, but Chik-fil-A might have added on some time. The motherboard was failing, which would continuously zap the battery. My only option was to replace my precious Note 4, that gave me a little cone head with each selfie I took (I don't miss it). While there are features I absolutely loved on that phone, the one I'm writing this article with, does just as good a job for a fraction of the cost.

It wasn't an easy process handing over my lemon phone. Nothing compared to it in the current market. AT&T wasn't carrying anymore (they're currently on strike) Note products (probably due to of the fiasco with the batteries), and I wasn't about to spend $800.00 on a piece of tech that I had no interest in having. The best best option was submitting an insurance request for ~$120.00, and hoping I would get an alternative Note.

Well, I didn't. I was mailed a Galaxy S7 Edge. I thought this would be a great opportunity to see if I could adapt to the infinity screen. If I lathered my hands in astroglide and had a mason jar thrown at my head, it would have been less damage than what I was about to do to this poor, BRAND NEW, S7 Edge. I hadn't purchased a case for it yet because I didn't know what I was receiving, until I brought the box with me to work. Needless to say, my butterfingers took the phone out of the box. As soon as I turned it over, with the plastic still covering the phone mind you, the plastic sticky tab stuck to my finger and went tumbling to the ground. I figured this would be a good opportunity since I've dropped my phone from scaffolding, what's 2 1/2 feet with linoleum floor going to do? Apparently put a giant crack in the so called gorilla glass. Fuming angry, I grab everything and put it back in the box called for another phone to be mailed to me.

I was told I would be receiving another S7 Edge, blue. To my surprise, I received a black, S7. I thought I was downgraded to a lesser phone until I had a Viking ceremony for my Note 4. Turns out, I'm a fan!

Don't get me wrong, I miss my stylus, especially for cold weather and drawing, but if the Note 8 or the next phone with a stylus includes an infinity screen, I'm out. I'll be sticking with the S7, or converting to Apple (probably not). Just a side note, while on the phone with AT&T's customer service, the representative even agreed that these phones today, are built to last two years. So expect your tech to have failures!

With all that being said, I'm planning ahead for the next lemon phone, but very happy with my Samsung Galaxy S7. Ultimately, without the stylus and a screen size that can fit in your pocket, all a Note 4 really is, is an S7.

The Short: If your phone takes a crap, buy a Samsung Galaxy S7, unless you're an Apple fan, then I can't help you. *whispers* "They don't even have audio ports..."

Hard at work